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https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2020/05/07/celebrate-global-accessibility-awareness-day-with-gds/

Celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day with GDS

Posted by: and , Posted on: - Categories: Accessibility

Global Accessibility Awareness Day with GDS virtual conference 21 May #AccessibilityRegulations #GAAD

Accessibility is considered in all aspects of the Government Digital Service’s (GDS) work. Whether it’s testing on assistive technologies, using persona profiles to simulate different users or providing subtitles for films; GDS works to the sixth Government Design Principle of ‘This is for everyone’.

Everyone must interact with government, there is no option to shop around for a different provider. This means it’s critical that we remove as many unnecessary obstacles as we can. Public sector organisations also have a legal duty to make sure websites and apps meet accessibility requirements.

One way to make services as easy to use as possible is to raise awareness of accessibility. This is why we’re celebrating the ninth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) on 21 May 2020 with a whole day of virtual activities. Alongside this agenda, we’re encouraging people to raise awareness within their organisations by hosting their own internal events, so we’ve created a downloadable resources pack to help you promote and deliver training sessions for colleagues on the day.

What we’re doing on the day

On the 21 May we’re hosting a number of webinars. These sessions are for digital professionals, anyone working in the public sector, suppliers for public sector organisations and those interested in digital accessibility. 

Please note registration has now closed. However, we are planning to record all workshops and make the videos available on our YouTube channel after the event. Details will be shared on our blog, Twitter and LinkedIn pages when the playlist is live.

 

Here’s the agenda for how GDS is celebrating GAAD.

9.30am to 10.30am

An introduction to digital accessibility regulations

Richard Morton, Head of Accessibility for Government, and Joseph Jones, Policy Officer at GDS, will talk you through the accessibility regulations and how they may impact your work.

Please note registration has now closed.

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11am to 11.45am 

How to avoid common accessibility statement fails

Join Chris Heathcote, who is running the team responsible for the enforcement of accessibility statements, to learn more about this requirement. Plus, Accessibility Consultant at the Home Office, George Rhodes will discuss his extensive research into this subject which highlighted some best practice examples and easy-to-avoid mistakes.

Please note registration has now closed.

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12.30pm to 1.30pm 

How to carry out basic accessibility checks 

Checking the accessibility of websites is one of the first steps to compliance with the digital accessibility regulations - but where should you start? During this interactive session Beverley Newing will introduce you to the fictional ‘Record a goose sighting’ service their team created and demonstrate how it can be used to develop the skills to carry out basic accessibility checks. Plus, Head of Accessibility for Government, Richard Morton, will be on hand to answer your questions.

Please note registration has now closed.

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2pm to 2.30pm

Building digital services that work for everyone

In this talk, Oliver Byford (Senior Frontend Developer at Government Digital Service) will walk you page-by-page through a fictional GOV.UK service, highlighting some of the things that he's learnt about building digital services that work for everyone.

Please note registration has now closed.

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3pm to 3.30pm 

Making accessibility accessible: the secret to engaging your workforce

In this session, Helen Wilson (Digital Designer at Worcester County Council) will share the framework she developed to help successfully engage Worcester County Council’s workforce on digital accessibility. Plus, she’ll reveal how you can use it to empower your colleagues to improve the accessibility of content on your website.

Please note registration has now closed.

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4pm to 4.30pm 

What would Marie Kondo do? How to clear your website of inaccessible PDFs

Leeds City Council reveal how they have taken inspiration from popular tidying philosophies to prepare for the accessibility regulations. Content Strategist Lammy Jones and Website Project Manager Sally Boyes will share how they’ve cleared their site of more than 3,500 PDFs in the past year and the lessons they’ve learnt along the way.

Please note registration has now closed.

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How to get involved

There are 3 different ways to join GDS in its GAAD celebrations. 

Firstly, join a webinar session from the above agenda. We will be running them through Zoom, which you can join via your preferred internet browser.

Secondly, host your own celebrations. Some ideas to promote accessibility within your own organisation are: run a virtual drop-in session, show how an assistive technology works or present an introduction to accessibility. We’ve created a downloadable resources pack that has a presentation deck and promotional assets to get you started. 

Thirdly, share your activities on social media. Use the hashtags #AccessibilityRegulations and #GAAD so we can connect with each other on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

We’re excited to hear from you

Let us know in the comments or @GDSTeam if you need more information, help with setting up your own event or want to share what you’re doing to celebrate.

We’re looking forward to raising awareness about accessibility with you.

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43 comments

  1. Comment by Jamie Dixon posted on

    Thanks for this, I really enjoyed the session by Leeds Council about reducing pdfs on their website. Do you know when the other sessions will be posted on YouTube?

  2. Comment by Christine Cé posted on

    Hi, have the recordings of the sessions been made available yet? Thanks

  3. Comment by Emma posted on

    I registered for two of these but only received the link for one. The one I didn't get was for going a basic check. Is it possible to join?

  4. Comment by Joanna posted on

    Where I can find the Zoom links?

  5. Comment by Rik Williams posted on

    I'm sad that these events were advertised as open but were restricted to the public sector in practice.

    People whom I've shared these events have received places, so long, it seems, as they work for Gov or the NHS.

    This is OK (these are your events). Yet, I think it would be better for the 10th GAAD if it was made explicit that you need to sign-up with a .gov / .uk email address as a requirement for entering the allocation process for spaces in the Zoom sessions.

    • Replies to Rik Williams>

      Comment by GDS team posted on

      Hi Rik,

      Unfortunately we weren't as clear in the blog post as we could have been. We hope your interest in the matter remains, as we are planning to record all workshops and make the videos available on our YouTube channel after the event. Details will be shared on our blog, Twitter and LinkedIn pages when the playlist is live.

      Thanks,
      The GDS Team

  6. Comment by Conrad Scott posted on

    Please can you record the sessions. This will be a huge help.

    • Replies to Conrad Scott>

      Comment by Rianna Fry posted on

      Absolutely, Conrad. The sessions will be recorded and we are planning to share them via our YouTube channel. More info will be shared on our blog and social media channels when the videos are live.

      • Replies to Rianna Fry>

        Comment by Conrad Scott posted on

        Thanks Rianna. Great news. I will share with Environment Agency digital editors when they are available.

  7. Comment by Ellie Christie posted on

    Some of our team are struggling to register on our machines (surface pro) or personal devices. What devices do we need to access the webinars?

  8. Comment by Samantha Slater posted on

    HMRC have blocked the links so cannot access.

    • Replies to Samantha Slater>

      Comment by Rianna Fry posted on

      The sessions will be recorded and shared via our YouTube channel, so hopefully you can catch up on them there. When the videos are live, we will share the information on our social media channels and blog.

      • Replies to Rianna Fry>

        Comment by Samantha Slater posted on

        Rianna - thank you for the update.

  9. Comment by Cheryl Hewitt-Smith posted on

    Hi - I signed up on the 12th for 2 webinars and received acknowledgement emails but no confirmations. Could you contact me please? Thanks.

  10. Comment by Christel Milien posted on

    Great to see GDS running accessibility modules again.
    As per previous comment, I would ask that session are recorded and made accessible to Civil servants across all departments . Looking forward to the sessions.

    • Replies to Christel Milien>

      Comment by Rianna Fry posted on

      Thank you, Christel! That's absolutely the plan. We'll be sharing more information on the recorded sessions after the event.

  11. Comment by Eoin posted on

    Great work, thanks for the opportunity. I'm really looking forward to it.

  12. Comment by Jan posted on

    it is not possible to run the sessions on skype? I also cannot use ZOOM due to security issues and a suggestion that it contains malware.

    • Replies to Jan>

      Comment by Chris posted on

      Same here. My organisation still has not cleared Zoom for use.

      It's a little ironic that a series of accessibility sessions may literally not be accessible for all.

      • Replies to Chris>

        Comment by Rianna Fry posted on

        Unfortunately, organisations have different IT restrictions which means there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution to this. This was a consideration when planning the events. And, to ensure that we can share the learning with the widest possible audience, we are planning to record all sessions and make them available on our YouTube channel. When they are live, we'll share the link via our blog and social media channels.

        • Replies to Rianna Fry>

          Comment by Claire posted on

          Please let us know when the sessions are available on YouTube (we can't use Zoom). Thank you.

  13. Comment by Rachel posted on

    Hi, just adding my voice to those asking for webinars to be recorded and released after the event please - my organisation has completely banned Zoom for security reasons, so I can't take part!

    Thanks 🙂

    • Replies to Rachel>

      Comment by Eoin posted on

      Zoom has increased it's security a few times since lockdown. It may be worth mentioning that to your company. Albeit that probably doesn't solve your problem on this occasion.

  14. Comment by Stewart posted on

    Great shame to be rejected, is this because of numbers of core audience being so large or are you vetting us?

    But either way, looking forward to seeing recordings in the future. Very eager to push good practice with my colleagues.

  15. Comment by Charlotte posted on

    I've registered for the webinars and I'm really looking forward to them. When will you be sending out notifications to let people know if they have been successfully registered?

    • Replies to Charlotte>

      Comment by Rianna Fry posted on

      Good to hear you've registered, Charlotte. The event team is reviewing the registrations regularly so you should hear back in the next couple of days - we've had an overwhelming response so far.

      • Replies to Rianna Fry>

        Comment by Charlotte posted on

        Fantastic, thank you. Brilliant news that so many people are interested in getting involved too!

  16. Comment by Sarah Roberts, head of digital communications, CUH posted on

    Excellent initiative and looking forward to the sessions!

  17. Comment by Sarah Leighton posted on

    Hi, will these webinars be recorded and available to watch after? Thank you.

    • Replies to Sarah Leighton>

      Comment by Rianna Fry posted on

      Hi Sarah, we will be looking to record and share the sessions after the event. Keep a lookout on our social media channels and the blog for updates on this.

  18. Comment by Esther Pickard posted on

    Hi, given the coronavirus crisis, is the accessibility deadline for 23 September 2020 still in place for local government websites?

    • Replies to Esther Pickard>

      Comment by Rianna Fry posted on

      Hi Esther, There are no doubt added pressures on many public sector teams at this time which may impact their response to the regulations. However, there are not currently any plans for compliance dates to change. The public can continue to report accessibility issues and organisations have a responsibility to address these complaints.

  19. Comment by Al posted on

    We're a government organisation in New Zealand. Can we register for these webinars?

    • Replies to Al>

      Comment by Rianna Fry posted on

      You're absolutely welcome to. Where there is limited capacity, our core audiences will be prioritised but please do register for sessions you're interested in. We're also hoping to make the recorded sessions available after the event. We will share details about how you can access this content after the event, so keep an eye on our social media channels and blog.